Sunday, August 31, 2014

Snapshot Sunday ~

You can really feel the change in the air, a palpable, tangible sight and smell that tells us the end of the brilliant sunny hot days is coming fast, to which I can only say.... it's about freakin' time. I've lived all over the West, but as a native Northwesterner, I feel much more at home up in these Oregon parts. Not a fan of 90-degree weather and blazing sun, but not so much for the discomfort of the unfamiliar, but for what seems to my eye (admittedly near-sighted) to be a limited color palette dominated by contrasty shadows. I'm eagerly awaiting the return of a diffusing overcast and fall colors.

Not to mention the baseball playoffs.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What a time it was....

It being a Thursday and all, I felt the urge to step into the way-back machine and engage in some wistful reminiscence. Bill & I often find ourselves recounting our experiences with the great cameras, the great films, and our great darkrooms. He still has his hand in it, since he teaches film and darkroom photography, but I'm afraid I've long since given up the practice. My Aristo cold-light head is languishing somewhere in storage. When our beer-fueled conversations bring up such memories as Tri-X, Edwal FG-7, Oriental Seagull, Amidol....well, I may not get misty-eyed, but I begin to miss the smell of hypo and the warm glow of a Thomas safelight.

I am, however, neither a hopeless romantic nor a sappy sentimentalist. (In other regards, I may well indeed be hopeless and sappy, but that's something entirely different). I love shooting digital in the studio, and the radically changed architecture of cameras -- I'm looking at you, iPhone -- has, for me anyway, really opened up expressive channels for engaging the world.

And I get just as big a thrill watching images as they emerge and change on my computer screen as I did when I dunked the paper in a tray of Dektol. Only my clothes don't smell anymore. I hope.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Portrait Workshop Coming Up ~

Mark this one down: Sunday September 21, from 2 pm to 8 pm

Once again hosted by our friends at Advance Camera, this will be pretty much an all-day affair, working inside the studio and outside exploring natural light. Sure, we'll get a little geeky talking about lights and meters and such (isn't that the fun part anyway?) but mostly we'll work with our beautiful model learning how to make rich, luscious portraits in a variety of styles. You'll learn techniques you never thought about before, and create images you never thought you could!

Like all of our workshops in the past, this is definitely a hands-on, bring-your-gear and let's get to work sort of event. And as such it's also limited to a fairly small group size to make sure everyone has  a chance to be involved and get the most out of it. We already have some people signed up, so make sure you contact Jordan Sleeth at Advance Camera to get the details and get registered. I'll be conducting this workshop in our studio in Beaverton, and we have beautiful nature trails and areas right outside the studio door for our trip outdoors. Contact me any time if you want to discuss more details or have questions, concerns or need directions; my contact info is on the right.

And then lets get ready to have some fun doing the very thing we're passionate about!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Snapshot Sunday

Sushi. I get hungry just thinking about it. The only other food indulgence that can get my juices flowing is a hotdog at a hockey game but, hey, that's just me. This is the lovely little restaurant that Whitney & I visited earlier this week, and -- have iPhone, will travel -- I can never resist a quiet image. Likewise I can never resist working and interpreting the heck out of it.  Some of my friends have asked me to share the process I go through to create an image like this one, which I'll happily provide in a future post. I have no secret formula.  The only great art here is the sushi.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Studio Day ~

I know that Thursdays have more or less morphed into "Throw-Back Thursdays", and as much as I love to step into the Way-Back machine and abuse my readers with frightening photos from my misspent youth, it's also the day I set aside to get some work done in the studio.  A couple of blogs, websites to manage, a ton of email to answer, and uncounted projects to put finishing touches to. But that doesn't preclude actual photography, and as so often happens, it's the unexpected moments and places that really matter. As in this really sweet portrait of my friend and studio-mate Whitney: we walked up to our favorite local sushi place for lunch (Sushi Ban-Ya, Hall Blvd, Beaverton, if you're interested and I highly recommend!) and found the perfect combination of window light, clean background, and iPhone. You can do the math.

We have a nature path just outside the door to the studio, which we take for the short walk up to the restaurant.  Whitney actually does a lot of sessions along the trail during the year, and it's especially beautiful in the fall. But today we were both captured by this particular quiet little scene.  Even though it was a bright mid-August Oregon sun, we wanted to see if we could somehow capture a quiet and serene moment with the iPhones. I used a couple simple apps, among them one called Mextures, and discovered this.

Ok, now it's back to work. I suppose you'd say the fun and games are over, but if that were actually true, I'd do something else.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Snapshot Sunday ~

Actually, everyday in one way or another is a snapshot day, right? The thing about being surrounded by creative people is to also realize that we're surrounded by beauty no matter where we turn. In this case, it was a group of sweaters and tops that my wife had washed by hand and hung up by an open window to dry. My iPhone is always handy (even if I'm not!). Usually I open up the image in Photoshop to size it, and then work on it with my onOne plug-ins, and in this case I also layered it with a painting app to give it a more interpretive look.

This is more direct look of that image; I love that we're able to manipulate and interpret the images we make in practically unlimited ways.

So today I'm going to pick some blackberries, drink a little beer, watch a baseball game, barbecue with some friends and generally be a nuisance. With my iPhone.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Re-boot Blog; V2.0

Bill Carrigan & I are pretty much surrounded by photographers, videographers, painters, poets, cranks, and a lot of really creative people. It's enough to drive you crazy.

But it's also really inspirational and challenging. Bill worked with Dave Carsten and me making our video on dental photography,  and we're now working on an online studio photography tutorial, along with other projects. So we figured it was just a natural progression to join forces on this blog, re-boot it, invite other authors, and have as much fun as possible while we explore every possible avenue and dark alley that photography (and other creative endeavors) lead us down. We'll probably get mugged once or twice along the way, but we hope you'll come along with us and share the ride.